Understanding the Association between Improved Household Living Standards and Reduced Forest Degradation
~ By Satvik Parashar
Can improving household living standards help control forest degradation? Interdisciplinary researchers from Universities across India and the USA (Columbia University, Ashoka University, University of Delaware, Azim Premji University and Johns Hopkins University) answer this question in their recent study. In the study, researchers quantify the role of improved living standards, such as durable housing, and alternatives to fuelwood for cooking, in alleviating pressure on forests and reducing degradation in the Central India Highlands.
The study region covers ~25 million hectares (7.6% of the total land area of India) across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Five thousand households were surveyed in 500 forest fringe villages (10 surveys per village) within 8 km of forest. The survey questions targeted two aspects of household living standards: 1) alternate energy for cooking, primarily the use of LPG or fuelwood for cooking, and 2) durability of house material i.e. kutcha or pucca house.
Project Spotlight highlights our members' work in Central India.
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